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Healing and Autonomy

Healing and Autonomy

This case study focuses on the concerns of Mike and Joanne regarding their son James’s health and the appropriate medical treatment for him. What approaches the two parents should take in raising their child is the actual moral conundrum the couple is facing. After experiencing strep throat issues, the child eventually developed acute glomerulonephritis, or kidney failure, as a result of the infection’s complete spread. Kidney failure brought on by strep throat is typically treated with antibiotics, but because of the child’s high blood pressure and fluid retention, he needs to go through interim dialysis.

His parents are having a hard time deciding on a course of therapy because of their fervent Christian beliefs. They are ardent Christians who think that God ultimately determines all things, and their faith serves as the foundation of their existence. It makes sense why they have trouble making such a decision if they have a strong belief in God.

Being what it is, the Christian faith places a premium on the notion that God is morality. Any natural occurrence cannot be incorrect because God is fully entitled to do anything. Because God is perfect and does not commit errors, he does not act in a way that is against the standards of objective morality.

That kind of thought raises the question of how God is able to murder people. We are not flawless, which is the cause. God is the origin of all life and is perfect. He continuously supports all life. Because we fall short of his expectations, we reject his life via our transgressions. God, therefore, has the right to stop granting us the gift of life if we sin. Morality is established by God. Because he is eternal and unchangeable, he establishes it. Christian morality is, therefore, timeless and unalterable. God perfectly abides by his moral principles.

Should they keep their son on dialysis or pray for a miracle? It seems to be the decision that is staring them in the face. God will preserve their son’s life if he so chooses.

The couple still wants to walk the way they believe a real Christian should and put their confidence in God, but they also want to make sure that their son is treated well and given a chance to survive. Mike ultimately decides to put off his son’s dialysis treatment on the recommendation of his wife, informing the doctor that they were taking James to a faith healing centre’ to investigate other, more Christian treatments. However, James’ failing health meant that this approach could only lead to him being pushed into dialysis. If not, he would be in danger of passing away. Mike is currently having trouble with his personal religion. James is now too sick for dialysis to save him, and his failing kidneys are in urgent need of a transplant due to his choice and decision to accept his wife’s advice and move forward with the faith healing.

The concept of beneficence, which is defined as “action done for the benefit of others,” is a significant concern in this situation. James’ parents removed him from the hospital, declined medical care, and delayed starting his dialysis until it was far too late. While their ideas were not inherently incorrect, they did contrast with current medical wisdom and reduced the likelihood of their son’s survival. James’ parents’ unwillingness to help and lack of concern for him hasn’t helped at all. In my opinion, the doctor ought to have confronted the parents about their son’s condition with more vigour.

It is not their responsibility to put their son’s health and lives in jeopardy by substituting their personal beliefs for treatments that have been scientifically established to work when they present the issue to medical professionals. Not that the doctor should disregard their culture, mind you. What I’m trying to say is that it’s wrong to put a child’s life in danger when they are aware of how serious the issue is, and that should be made clear.

I do not support the complete disregard for cultural differences. They belong where etiquette and manners are concerned. Cultural beliefs that are in opposition to the practitioner’s manner of treatment have no place in situations involving the health of children or the life or death of a person. People are allowed to have their opinions, even if they are incorrect, but when a kid’s life is at stake, especially without the child being in any way involved, they should not be accommodated or tried to push therapy in a way that is inconsistent with the best care available.

I try to be compassionate despite how I believe this goes against the principle of beneficence, despite how I feel about the situation and how I personally feel about it. I know that it cannot operate this way. Patients, in general, lack our level of expertise, but more crucially, patients like those in the case study have a very different perspective on the problem and occasionally even on the entire universe. It’s annoying, yes, but it’s also our responsibility to make an effort to inform, educate, and treat them as best we can while maintaining their autonomy. It’s not a perfect example because kids aren’t so independent, but we need to consider paediatrics and how they handle situations like this. We wouldn’t become upset if a young child refused to take deep breaths to aid in auscultation. We just follow what works.

It is in our best interests as medical professionals to carry out our duties, do our best, and avoid passing judgement on matters where we are unable to understand the patient’s point of view. We know that diabetics will act injuriously while we’re not watching. We also know that people will misuse the drug system and disregard life-saving immunisations and other treatments. We must make an honest attempt even though we cannot save everyone. But if it fails, there is nothing we can do. They don’t understand the value of the scientific process or the complexity of medical research methodologies, so we can’t expect them to trust the same sources that we do.

Therefore, despite his difficulties, Mike should just act in his son’s best interests. While there is a course of action that almost every medical expert would favour, we cannot claim that it is the morally correct course of action for Mike, his family, and their Christian religion. It goes without saying that the choices we make and the actions we take do, to some extent, although not entirely, affect how long we live and when we pass away. There is a vast variety of opinions on what constitutes the best form of human life between the two extremes of medical thought and fervent adherence to the Christian Narrative, and I believe that many of these opinions will be subjective. Jack’s interests may not coincide with mine.


McCormick, Thomas (18 Feb. 2016). Spirituality and Medicine: Ethical Topic in Medicine. Retrieved from

Christian Medical Fellowship – (n.d). Christianity and Medicine. Christian Medical Fellowship – Retrieved from

N.a (1 Sept. 2015). Two large Christian groups reject medical treatment in favour of prayer. Retrieved from

Stanley Hauerwas (19 Oct. 2012). The body of Christ: Medicine and the Christian difference – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved from


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View the library tutorial on using the GCU databases and the empirical article tutorial. Find a scholarly peer-reviewed journal from the library. Select a research study (complete with Method, Results, and Discussion sections).

In 750-1,000 words, analyze the article.

List the research question(s)/hypothesis being considered in the article.

Healing and Autonomy

Healing and Autonomy

Summarize the study being conducted, including the purpose of the study.

Describe the method and design used to test the research question(s)/hypothesis, including:

Discuss if you believe the method and design were the correct method and design for the study. If not, what would your suggestion for method and design be?

Describe the variables; how were they defined and operationalized?

Discuss if the study is ethically sound. Why or why not. What elements are present or lacking to show it is ethically sound?

Include at least two to four scholarly sources.

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